Introduction to Dance/Movement Therapy I (2 credits)

In this introductory course, we explore five main areas of Dance/Movement Therapy (DMT) theory and practice:

1) The history and development of the field and its current reach in the world,

2) Basic methods and techniques including witnessing, attunement, mirroring, kinaesthetic empathy, and expansion of movement repertoire,

3) Basic neurobiology supporting the efficacy of Dance/Movement Therapy,

4) Structures developed for expressive and creative movement in DMT, and

5) Basic understanding of assessment, intervention and progress in DMT.

Integrated throughout this course, we briefly explore how DMT supports growth and healing for individuals, families, groups and communities. We view this through the lens of developmental, relational and attachment psychology.

Students will:

Understand the history and evolution of the field of DMT as well as modern day applications, becoming familiar with four pioneer Dance/Movement Therapists: Marian Chace, Trudi Schoop, Irmgaard Bartenieff and Mary Whitehouse, and be acquainted with the work of six modern day BC-DMT practitioners: Susan Loman, Suzi Tortora, Rena Kornblum, Charne Furcron, Kalila Homann and Janet Adler.

Learn five core principles relating to the interrelationship of the mind and body that inform DMT theory.

Gain a basic level of understanding of Triune Brain theory, Polyvagal Theory and Mirror Neurons. With this neurobiological understanding, students will learn about the importance of body awareness and interoception, and learn how DMT promotes social engagement using rhythm, verbalization and movement.

Understand the unique observation and assessment methods and tracking of progress in DMT.

Experientially practice DMT methods and techniques including:

1) self-attunement and the ability to track one’s own sensations and movement impulse and associated feelings,

2) relationship and trust building with clients, using attunement, mirroring and kinaesthetic empathy as tools,

3) supporting sequencing feelings through expressive and creative dance/movement,

4) expanding dynamic movement repertoire and relating movement expression to psychological strengths and capacity, and

5) use of props and music in DMT.